Chinese Love Lazy Susan, but I Can't Stand that Worthless Broad

Categories: Wok the Talk

lazy susan.jpg
I'm going to lose some Asian points for this blog, so I'm just going to put it out there: I am not a fan of the lazy Susan. Why this rotating serving contraption was ever considered a good idea is beyond me. What is supposed to bring people together during a meal is actually quite an intimidating apparatus to put into use. Yes, you think I am on crack, and yes, what is now synonymous with banquet style Chinese restaurants and 1970's breakfast table cuisine was actually the brainchild of Thomas Jefferson, but hear me out and then blast off at me in the comments.

  • What exactly is the lazy Susan etiquette? My mom and I are in Hong Kong right now as part of a Vietnamese business tour group. This means I've been eating many of my meals with strangers I just met, and almost every meal has included the lazy Susan. For everyone, this also means many of our meals have started off with awkward trepidation regarding who takes the first stab at the food. Well, almost everyone. My mother -- being the eldest of 10 children -- has no qualms about being the barbarian first to attack. Between stuffing her mouth and hoarding food on MY plate, I could feel the judgmental eyes of eight hungry people on us. "Get a hold of yourself! You're a business woman," was the thought I telepathically shot to my mom. Message not received. We could sit there spinning the round table all day long offering and mock-not accepting, and where would we all be? Hungry.
  • Things will spill. Once a table gets filled up, operating a lazy Susan becomes as delicate a situation as stuffing Kim Kardashian into spandex pants for when she pretends to be going to the gym for the paparazzi. Tea cups, soup bowls, water glasses, soy sauce dishes are all in danger.


  • Must it take up 90 percent of the table? With the gargantuan versions used at Chinese restaurants, I sometimes feel like I am eating on a window ledge. Add into account that many Chinese restaurants charge per table, some people will maximize by stuffing as many diners onto a table as possible.
  • Overly eager spinners. Excuse me, lady, but do you not see that I am trying to pick up this slimy bok choy with these equally slippery lacquered chopsticks with which the restaurant has provided us so that we eat less? Ah, chopsticks. That's a whole other blog post of WTF. (I know. Throw your stones!) Not only do we have to contend with trying to pick up food quickly and politely, but we have to do so while that asshole is trying to get his "hurry up" point across by doing the premature slow roll.
  • Please pass the... I remember going to my first meal at a non-Asian friend's house and being blown away with how much talking there was at the dinner table. It was so weird. It was the first time I realized that not everyone ate their meals in front of a television or in hurried silence. And what was this business with "Please pass the [boxed] mashed potatoes?" Wow, you mean you don't just stand up to reach across the table to stab a piece of pork with some chopsticks if it's too far from your access? If you're having a meal with strangers you just met -- whether it be on a tour of Hong Kong or an Asian-themed wedding -- wouldn't "Please pass that fish head" be an excellent ice-breaker?

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.


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1 comments
Adis
Adis

Good thing you are there with your mom. Sounds like she's had lifetime training on hustling the lazy susan meal. Thank God for her ballsiness too, or you would go hungry.

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